The untimely death of pop icon Michael Jackson recently unleashed a wave of media coverage surrounding the problems of living with chronic pain. How people cope with pain is generally an intensely personal matter, but Michael Jackson’s story has propelled the issue of the prolific use of painkillers very much into the public domain.
Michael Jackson was by no means alone in his pain. There are literally millions of people throughout the world whose lives are blighted by pain to varying degrees, but who we will almost certainly never hear about.
Many of these chronic pain sufferers are dependent on the use of strong painkillers simply to make it through every day; others are obliged to resort to pain relief, but on a less frequent basis; and others still are turning to alternative or holistic remedies in an attempt to avoid reaching for the Ibuprofen bottle quite so often.
Holistic remedies tend to generate their own share of press coverage – not all of it positive. However, a steadily growing number of spa-goers swear by spa treatments such as Reiki, reflexology or Shiatsu, praising the restorative or healing effects that they have experienced following these treatments.
If the meaning of its name is anything to go by, Reiki promises much. According to the website of one leading UK spa, the name derives from the Japanese word representing “universal life energy” (Rei = universal; Ki = life force energy which flows through all living beings).
As the same spa website goes on to explain, Reiki opens the mind to the causes of disease and pain, reinforcing the body’s ability to heal itself.
It is a hands-on spa treatment, with the recipient lying fully clothed while the practitioner’s hands rest gently over various areas of the body for a few minutes at a time in each position. Safe and reassuring, Reiki offers an alternative approach to pain relief, supporting and enhancing all medical or complementary treatments.
According to the International Center for Reiki Training, the increasingly popular spa treatment has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady. To the person on the receiving end, it feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you.
Whilst Reiki is realistically unlikely to deliver the analgesic effects of strong painkillers, equally it has none of the unpleasant side effects often associated with such drugs. So for anyone who is waging a constant war against pain – whether privately or in the public eye – a Reiki spa treatment may offer at least some relief.